Assistance for Self-Employed Persons Affected by COVID19 Closes Sept 26

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We’re about to roll into month 8-ish of the year 2020 turning on its head.

It has been a tough year for a lot of people in Canada and around the world. 

Quarantine loosened up at the beginning of September but there are still a lot of rules and restrictions in place to protect everyone. 

I’m just grateful my local coffee shop opened up again so I can get away from the house a few days a week at least. 

The coffee place is very spacious and the tables are spread quite far apart so there’s no issue with social distancing. 

Assistance for Self-Employed Persons Affected by COVID19

Assistance for Self-Employed Persons Affected by COVID19

Since the COVID19 brouhaha began, a lot of Canadians find themselves out of work while newcomers are in for an even tougher time.

The government stepped in earlier to provide CERB for individuals, small businesses, etc.

However, it wasn’t supposed to go on forever and does have a time limit. The CERB is coming to a close end of this week by September 26.

Check out the tweet below from Canada Revenue Agency reminding people there’s still time to apply for CERB.

CERB closes Sept 26

If you apply before it closes, you will receive money for one period between March 15 and September 26.

You’ll be required to answer a few qualifying questions on the CRA website to confirm eligibility.

After this benefit closes, the government will be launching the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) for self-employed people, freelancers, and gig workers.

What is Canada Recovery Benefit?

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides $400 per week for up to 26 weeks while you search for another situation. That’s $1,600/month.

You qualify if you had to stop working because of the pandemic or are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) but still require income support.

Apart from the benefits for self-employed persons, freelancers, and gig workers, other categories and benefits include:-

  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) program for caregivers will provide $500 per week for those whose income has been affected.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) program will provide $1,000 for sick workers who do not have access to paid sick leave.

All these new programs are effective from September 27 and are expected to cost $37 billion approx over the next year.

How to Apply for Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)?

Currently, you qualify for the program if you meet the following criteria:-

  • You are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You stopped working due to COVID-19 and are actively looking for employment
  • You are working but your income is reduced due to COVID-19
  • You are not eligible for employment insurance
  • You had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020, and
  • You have not voluntarily quit your job

For more details about the Canada Recovery Benefit and to check if you’re eligible visit Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and scroll to “support for individuals.”

Remember, all the money you receive from these programs is taxable.

The CRA will come calling for their money in 2021 so keep aside at least 20% of each payment from the government. 

A breakdown of all the benefits available under this new initiative can be found in Supporting Canadians through the next phase of the economy re-opening.

Do Self-Employed Newcomers to Canada Quality for Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)?

You may quality. However, you need to have a valid social insurance number (SIN).

You may also qualify for Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Emergency Assistance

If you have children, you probably qualify for the Child Tax Benefit as well. 

If you’re not in Ontario, your province might have specific assistance programs beyond the ones that cover all of Canada.

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